This is a good overview of the challenges facing companies like Velodyne that are hoping to move from the expensive ($75k) early adopter car mapping and navigation market to be a tier one parts supplier to the automotive industry. That is a large gap to cross, but Velodyne is working hard at making the transition.
“Our customers are telling us they want it to be below $100, that’s kind of the roadmap we’re working from in the back of our mind,” Velodyne’s automotive sales manager recently said.
In the meantime competitors like startup Quanergy are approaching the market with a totally different design strategy. They are developing a solid state lidar sensor that Quanergy chief executive Louay Edlada believes will cost below $100 in five years. It’s releasing their new sensor next month for $250.
Tesla chief executive Elon Musk has said the use of lidar is not needed, arguing that optic cameras and radar are enough.
Time will tell.